Prime Minister Imran Khan has formed a “high-level cell” to investigate the people mentioned in the pandora leaks, confirmed Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Monday.
“PM of Pakistan has formed a high-level cell under PM Inspection Commission to investigate the pandora leaks,” tweeted the information minister. He added that the cell will seek replies from all the Pakistanis named in the leaks and present “facts” before the nation.
پنڈورا لیکس کی تحقیقات کیلئے وزیر اعظم پاکستان نے وزیر اعظم انسپکشن کمیشن کے تحت ایک اعلیٰ سطحی سیل قائم کیا ہے یہ سیل پنڈورا لیکس میں شامل تمام افراد سے جواب طلبی کرے گا اور حقائق قوم کے سامنے رکھیں جائینگے #PandoraLeaks— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) October 4, 2021
Fawad’s tweet came after PM Imran Khan meeting with government spokespersons at the PM Office.
According to sources, the meeting was given a detailed briefing on the “Pandora Papers” and a guideline was issued to the spokespersons on the matter. The meeting also reviewed the political situation of the country following the leaks.
Even though the minister did not share any names included in the cell but, sources told Bol News that the committee includes the attorney general and senior ministers.
Sources also shared that the Federal Investigation Agency, National Accountability Bureau and Federal Board of Revenue will be asked assist the cell in its investigation. They added that the cell will determine whether the offshore companies were legal or not.
Sources shared that the cell will submit a report to PM Imran and he will take action based on the report. They added that PM Imran has also tasked Law Minister Farogh Naseem to formulate the terms of reference for him to take action on the leaks.
Officials, privy to the meeting, also shared that the spokespersons were also briefed on the recently launched Kamyab Jawan programme and the government’s measures to control inflation.
The so-called “Pandora Papers” investigation – involving some 600 journalists from media including The Washington Post, the BBC and The Guardian – is based on the leak of some 11.9 million documents from 14 financial services companies across the world.
Some 35 current and former world leaders are featured in the documents analysed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) — facing allegations ranging from corruption to money laundering and global tax avoidance.
PM Imran promises investigation
It is pertinent to mention here that PM Imran on Sunday had promised to “investigate” all Pakistani citizens connected to a massive probe into the hidden wealth of politicians worldwide after members of his inner circle were implicated in the report.
“We welcome the Pandora Papers exposing the ill-gotten wealth of elites, accumulated through tax evasion & corruption & laundered out to financial ‘havens,’” PM had said in a series of tweets.
Just like the East India Company plundered the wealth of India, ruling elites of developing world are doing the same. Unfortunately, the rich states are neither interested in preventing this large-scale plunder nor in repatriating this looted money.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 3, 2021
PM said that global poverty levels were fueled by corruption in tax havens, which he said, diverted funds away from the general public.
He also slammed wealthy countries for not being “interested in preventing this large-scale plunder nor in repatriating this looted money.”
The “Pandora Papers” are the latest in a series of mass ICIJ leaks of financial documents, from LuxLeaks in 2014, to the 2016 Panama Papers, the Paradise Papers in 2017 and FinCen files in 2020. One of PM Imran’s predecessors, Nawaz Sharif, was ousted by the Supreme Court in 2017 over allegations made in the Panama Papers.